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-   -   We did the unthinkable!We Left the teenagers home: DH & I do Disney solo:update 1/15 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2035732)

MEK 12-18-2008 06:11 PM

We did the unthinkable!We Left the teenagers home: DH & I do Disney solo:update 1/15
 
If you have teenagers, you can relate to how I feel! You hate to leave your kids at home, but at the same time we decided the time had come. The moon, stars, and planets aligned and it was time for DH and I to do Disney solo. OK, the astological analogy is a bit dramatic. So, to put it in Disman terms - we were finally "hooked up" - we had the perfect combination of excuses for a solo trip - DVC points and annual passes. :thumbsup2

DH and I joined DVC last fall. We took our first DVC trip in June. It was a nearly perfect trip with 3 nights at Vero and 5 nights at SSR. We brought DS's friend and we even entertained our Daytona Beach friends for the weekend. And before it was time to go home, I convinced DH to upgrade to an annual pass so we could plan our own trip before my AP expired. (wink wink)

Needless to say, I was on the phone with member services within 2 days of our return home. I wanted to visit right after Thanksgiving or the following week, but I could not get 3 days together in a studio anywhere. January was wide open, and that was tempting, but my AP would have expired 2 parkdays into the trip and I wasn't quite ready to renew. Fortunately, I was able to find 3 nights together 12/14-12/17 at SSR. We planned to arrive on Sat 12/13 and stay in a regular resort room for one night.

When we originally were searching for air fare, things were quite expensive. It was right around the time that gas was $4.00/ gallon. SWA fares were beyond comprehension, so I booked departures at Air Tran at $79 from PHL. Perfectly acceptable, since I didn't think I would find anything cheaper. I have never flown Air Tran before, so I was a bit skeptical after reading some negative stuff here, but my experience was quite pleasant - no complaints.

So back to the kids. WE have 2 boys - 14 (8th grade) and 15 (10th grade). Both boys play serious soccer, so planning a solo trip during soccer season would be a serious breach of soccer parent etiquitte. WE needed to wait for the calm of winter, since neither boy plays a winter sport (other then - of course - indoor soccer). We just needed to make arrangements for the boys. One of my dear friends offered to take DS14. For DS 15, the situation was a bit more complex. He could not seem to understand the statement - "No, you can not stay home alone while we are a thousand miles away. Are you freak'n nuts????????" We had this conversation in many different versions, many more times than I care to remember. And it always ended the same way, with the same statement "Are you freak'n nuts??????" Kids - Seesh! :scared1:

So we hired a high school senior to stay in the house with DS15 from Sunday through Weds. We made arrangements for DS to stay at a neighbor's house on Saturday night. We also had several conversations about why he wasn't allowed to be in the house Saturday night. :rolleyes1 I think you know by now how those conversations ended!

I'll tell you what - there were several moments of everyday when I got so worried about leaving the kids, that I had to fight the urge to cancel. So the last two days before the trip I relied on a little Xanax to help with the nerves and I managed to make it, unscathed and reasonably calm, to departure day.

So stayed tuned for much, much more as I prepare to download my pics and inspire you to take a trip without your kids!:goodvibes

jenjolt 12-18-2008 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEK (Post 29226613)
If you have teenagers, you can relate to how I feel! You hate to leave your kids at home, but at the same time we decided the time had come. The moon, stars, and planets aligned and it was time for DH and I to do Disney solo. OK, the astological analogy is a bit dramatic. So, to put it in Disman terms - we were finally "hooked up" - we had the perfect combination of excuses for a solo trip - DVC points and annual passes. :thumbsup2

DH and I joined DVC last fall. We took our first DVC trip in June. It was a nearly perfect trip with 3 nights at Vero and 5 nights at SSR. We brought DS's friend and we even entertained our Daytona Beach friends for the weekend. And before it was time to go home, I convinced DH to upgrade to an annual pass so we could plan our own trip before my AP expired. (wink wink)

Needless to say, I was on the phone with member services within 2 days of our return home. I wanted to visit right after Thanksgiving or the following week, but I could not get 3 days together in a studio anywhere. January was wide open, and that was tempting, but my AP would have expired 2 parkdays into the trip and I wasn't quite ready to renew. Fortunately, I was able to find 3 nights together 12/14-12/17 at SSR. We planned to arrive on Sat 12/13 and stay in a regular resort room for one night.

When we originally were searching for air fare, things were quite expensive. It was right around the time that gas was $4.00/ gallon. SWA fares were beyond comprehension, so I booked departures at Air Tran at $79 from PHL. Perfectly acceptable, since I didn't think I would find anything cheaper. I have never flown Air Tran before, so I was a bit skeptical after reading some negative stuff here, but my experience was quite pleasant - no complaints.

So back to the kids. WE have 2 boys - 14 (8th grade) and 15 (10th grade). Both boys play serious soccer, so planning a solo trip during soccer season would be a serious breach of soccer parent etiquitte. WE needed to wait for the calm of winter, since neither boy plays a winter sport (other then - of course - indoor soccer). We just needed to make arrangements for the boys. One of my dear friends offered to take DS14. For DS 15, the situation was a bit more complex. He could not seem to understand the statement - "No, you can not stay home alone while we are a thousand miles away. Are you freak'n nuts????????" We had this conversation in many different versions, many more times than I care to remember. And it always ended the same way, with the same statement "Are you freak'n nuts??????" Kids - Seesh! :scared1:

So we hired a high school senior to stay in the house with DS15 from Sunday through Weds. We made arrangements for DS to stay at a neighbor's house on Saturday night. We also had several conversations about why he wasn't allowed to be in the house Saturday night. :rolleyes1 I think you know by now how those conversations ended!

I'll tell you what - there were several moments of everyday when I got so worried about leaving the kids, that I had to fight the urge to cancel. So the last two days before the trip I relied on a little Xanax to help with the nerves and I managed to make it, unscathed and reasonably calm, to departure day.

So stayed tuned for much, much more as I prepare to download my pics and inspire you to take a trip without your kids!:goodvibes

I'm subbing in!! Can't wait to read more about your solo adventure!!!!

I work with teenagers (high school teacher) so I completely understand the statement Are you Freakin Nuts...LOL!!!

MEK 12-18-2008 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenjolt (Post 29227084)
I work with teenagers (high school teacher) so I completely understand the statement Are you Freakin Nuts...LOL!!!

Oh, I bet you do! When they're not texting or listening to their Ipods, they're saying something that elicits this response!

Thanks for tuning in!

Lady Lallie 12-18-2008 07:12 PM

I'm here too! I'm very curious to see how your DS made out staying at home. :rolleyes1

MEK 12-18-2008 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lady Lallie (Post 29227460)
I'm here too! I'm very curious to see how your DS made out staying at home. :rolleyes1

Yeah - I was pretty curious myself - right up to the time I walked in the door last night. Despite the frequent assurances by DS that everything was "cool" and he's feeble attempts at telling me to "chill", I wasn't sure what I was going to find. It actually wasn't too terrible. Let's just say, it could have been a whole lot worse. Unless, of course, the bobby pin I found in the bathroom really isn't mine! :rotfl:

ILuvCrush 12-18-2008 11:07 PM

I'm here!!
Can't wait for another great fun filled MEK TR... I hope there's lots of pics again:hippie:


Hey LL and Jen... I'm trying to recruit MEK to join us on the 2010gnome trip

Help me out:goodvibes


paula

ILuvCrush 12-18-2008 11:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEK (Post 29228173)
Unless, of course, the bobby pin I found in the bathroom really isn't mine! :rotfl:

:scared1: :scared1: :scared1:

jenjolt 12-19-2008 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ILuvCrush (Post 29229902)
I'm here!!
Can't wait for another great fun filled MEK TR... I hope there's lots of pics again:hippie:


Hey LL and Jen... I'm trying to recruit MEK to join us on the 2010gnome trip

Help me out:goodvibes


paula

MEK...you must come!!! The more Marcettes the merrier LOL!!! Paula will buy you a grey goose slushie( LOL, well if she doesn't I will LOL)

ILuvCrush 12-19-2008 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jenjolt (Post 29231087)
MEK...you must come!!! The more Marcettes the merrier LOL!!! Paula will buy you a grey goose slushie( LOL, well if she doesn't I will LOL)

Hey the deal is that Christine has to pass on DVC for me to buy the round..... I think I'm gonna get off cheap:lmao: She's already sold...she just doesn't quite know it yet:rotfl2:

Lady Lallie 12-19-2008 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MEK (Post 29228173)
Yeah - I was pretty curious myself - right up to the time I walked in the door last night. Despite the frequent assurances by DS that everything was "cool" and he's feeble attempts at telling me to "chill", I wasn't sure what I was going to find. It actually wasn't too terrible. Let's just say, it could have been a whole lot worse. Unless, of course, the bobby pin I found in the bathroom really isn't mine! :rotfl:

:lmao: Oh my, that is scary! I remember when I stayed home alone one weekend and my friends were smoking in the bathroom, the ashes gave me away. :headache: I was a good kid, I didn't smoke but I still got in trouble for it! :eek:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ILuvCrush (Post 29229902)
I'm here!!
Can't wait for another great fun filled MEK TR... I hope there's lots of pics again:hippie:


Hey LL and Jen... I'm trying to recruit MEK to join us on the 2010gnome trip

Help me out:goodvibes


paula

That's right, you should come along. It's going to be great fun!

MEK 12-19-2008 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ILuvCrush (Post 29229902)
I'm here!!
Can't wait for another great fun filled MEK TR... I hope there's lots of pics again:hippie:


Hey LL and Jen... I'm trying to recruit MEK to join us on the 2010gnome trip

Help me out:goodvibes


paula

Paula -

Thanks for stopping by. The 2010gnome trip sounds like a blast. I think I could definately get recruited for that! :thumbsup2

MEK 12-19-2008 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lady Lallie (Post 29233202)
:lmao: Oh my, that is scary! I remember when I stayed home alone one weekend and my friends were smoking in the bathroom, the ashes gave me away. :headache: I was a good kid, I didn't smoke but I still got in trouble for it! :eek:

That's right, you should come along. It's going to be great fun!

I think the bobby pin must be mine. I have to use them to pull my hair up for marching band. Yeah - I'm a band geek!

Anyway - I like the sound of the gnome trip! I will definately stop by your pretrippie to get more information!

podsnel 12-19-2008 08:53 PM

Hey there- well, I'm subbing. Hoping to do the same with my DH next fall- LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE WDW w/out the kids! Such a different Disney!;) :thumbsup2

MEK 12-19-2008 09:20 PM

So the Solo Parent trip begins...... Part 1
 
We officially left for the world on December 13th. 4 nights - a quickie, so to speak! I took the 12th off from work. I had a bunch of errands to run and I had to do about 4 loads of laundry and pack for my younger DS to go to his friends. Plus I cleaned up the house, changed the cats' litter boxes, and did a 20% water change on my fish tank. :fish: I decided to really learn how to keep a fish tank. This is the first time I've ever really maintained the tank correctly and I have managed to keep my 3 goldfish alive since Labor Day. I learned not to overfeed my fish, how to test for ammonia and nitrates, and how to do frequent partial water changes while my tank "cycled". So, I think I was more nervous about leaving the fish than the cats. :rotfl:

While doing my last minute packing, I got out the camera and snapped a few pictures of my cats.

This is Kismet. She is sitting on one of the beams above our living room. She was adopted from the SPCA. She loves to sleep with me and follows me all over the house
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008302.jpg

This is Max. He is my favorite cat. He was also adopted from the SPCA. He has the best personality, although he would rather sit with my DH than me. He also has a bad habit of sitting on top of any lap top left on the kitchen table
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008307.jpg

Last, but not least....This is Jewel. We found her outside about 4 or 5 years ago in the freezing December weather. We brought her in temporarily, but ended up keeping her. As you can see, she makes herself right at home
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008306.jpg

I know my cats are a bit off topic, but I love them, so I thought I would share.

Well, after running around all day on Friday, I finally got home around 9pm. I sat down to watch a movie and promptly fell asleep on the couch. I was glad for that, since I sometimes have trouble sleeping before a Disney trip. Well, tonight I has no trouble sleeping, but I woke up at about 3:15 am ready to start my day. :eek: That would have been great if I had an early morning flight, but our flight didn't leave until 11:24am. Try as I might, I could not fall back to sleep, so I finally got up around 4:45am. That's about what time I normally get up for work. Despite the fact that I still had some last minute chores, the morning started to drag and I couldn't wait for 9am to arrive so we could leave for the airport.

I left last minute reminders all over the house - FEED THE CATS! DON'T LET THE CATS OUT! KEEP THE DOORS LOCKED! FEED THE FISH! Oh Yeah - I left notes everywhere.

Before leaving the neighborhood, we had one final stop. We left all our flight information, contact numbers, locations, ect with one of our neighbors who agreed to check in on DS13 and watch him Saturday night. We slipped the info into their mail box. As we were driving away DH starts looking for his sunglasses. "Where are my sunglasses. Did you see them?"

"Geesh - you just had them 2 minutes ago, they must be in the car. You'll find them. "

I mention the sunglasses because my DH can be very absent minded. You will see what I mean rather soon. :laughing: Yeah, DH's sunglasses actually dropped out of the car while he was putting the letter in our neighbor's mailbox.

Our flight out of PHL left on time and was very uneventful. We sat near a man who was traveling with his DW and 2 small children. It was their first trip to the world. The little girls were adorable and I couldn't help but feel very excited for them.

We got to MCO around 1:30pm. It was actually overcast and a little cool when we arrived. I think the temps were in the low 60's. Still much better than home.;)

Here is what we saw when we first excited the airplane

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008309.jpg

And here is my DH on the tram. I know he's thinking - what the heck????

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008312.jpg

I forgot to mention that when we originally planned this trip we were going to take ME. However, the more I thought about, the more I realized that a car might have some advantages. For one, we could go directly to the parks without checking in first, since we both had AP's. Secondly, we could transfer our luggage easily from POFQ to SSR and our check in would be easier. Third, we would definately be on time for our ADR at the California grill. Fourth, we could hit a grocery store if necessary. Fifth, we could have some extra time before we had to leave to return to the airport.

I ended up renting from EZCAR Rental, which used to be called L&M. They had this Car X deal - $119 (including tax) for a mystery car which was supposed to be either a midsize, full size, minivan, or SUV. This was the best rate I could find, so I booked it. It was cheaper than any economy/compact car I could find.

So when we arrived at the luggage carousel, I sent DH off to find EZCar while I waiting and waited and waited for the luggage.

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008314.jpg

DH was gone about 5 minutes and he returned with paper work in hand. As soon as our luggage arrived we crossed the street to the garage. We were promptly handed the key to our "mystery car". When we finally found it, it was a blue midsized Kia something. When we opened the car, we got a bit of a surprise.........

http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008315.jpg
The Car Had a Manual Transmission :rotfl: What the heck? I've never seen a rental with a manual transmission

Fortunately, DH and I drive stick all the time, so no biggie. But, I would venture to say that car gets returned pretty quickly by other Mystery car renters. The only difference with this car was that reverse was in a strange position where it was located all the way to the left next to first gear. That took a bit of referring to the manual, but we were soon on our way. :woohoo:

Here is a picture of DH's new toy. He calls her "Ellie"
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008316.jpg

Ellie is nice and all, but I really don't think we needed her to find this...... http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/e...ber2008318.jpg

Yeah - we finally arrived and Ellie took us right to the Animal Kingdom. And get this - there was was no one collecting tolls in the parking lot. I wish I had a picture of that. Cars were just driving through.

SO..... up next .... Our first evening at the world!

Angelia'sthree 12-19-2008 09:42 PM

Great reporting~! I love trips alone with my husband. We rarely have any. I am sure you had a wonderful time.


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